Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Long before she became a two-time Oscar winner, Hilary Swank paid her dues in such hard-hitting TV movies as Terror in the Family. The actress is cast as Deena Martin, a profoundly troubled 15-year-old with a history of wild and abusive behavior. An argument over a boy Deena has been seeing without permission erupts into all-out violence as the girl assaults her parents and threatens them with a knife. Removed to the custody of her Aunt Judith (Kathleen Wilhoite), Deena struggles to get her life under control, but the film's script makes it abundantly clear that the problem isn't hers alone. Both her mother, Cynthia (Joanna Kerns), and her brother, Adam (Adam Hendershott), are alcoholics, and her distant, self-absorbed father, Todd (Dan Lauria), would have been just as happy if neither of his children had never been born. Filmed in Utah, Terror in the Family made its Fox network debut on April 16, 1996.
alcoholism, dysfunctional, family-secrets, high-school, teenagers